World Series Game 5: A.J. Should Have Stayed In Bed

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So much for the Good A.J. showing up tonight. I don’t know if he pitched badly because of the belabored-to-death “short rest issue” or if he would have pitched badly if he’d been rested for six months. I also don’t know if Chad Gaudin would have done any better, although I doubt it. What I do know is that the Phillies were up 5-1 in the third when Girardi told A.J. to take his stuff and go away.
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Robertson did a nice job in relief, as did Aceves. (Great catch by Gardner at the wall on Werth’s fly ball.) But Coke? I won’t even make a Pepsi joke. There was nothing funny about the homers he surrendered to put the Phillies up 8-2 by the time Hughes arrived in the seventh. OK, I can’t resist.
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Maybe no pitcher on the planet can keep Utley from hitting homers. He’s put on a brilliant show during this series, and whoever can get him out deserves a medal.
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But how about walking him? Or moving him off the plate? Just a suggestion. The Yankees actually made a ball game of it tonight against Cliff Lee. Down 8-2, they mounted a comeback in the eighth when Damon singled and Tex and A-Rod doubled, chasing Lee. Cano’s sac fly tacked on another run. Could they tie it up in the ninth? I had hope after Posada doubled and Matsui singled. Up came Jeter, the Captain, the guy you want at the plate with the World Series on the line. And what did he do?
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Double play, right. Yes, another run scored for 8-6, but now we had two outs. Damon pulled off another single – go, Johnny, go! – but Tex struck out to end it. I have one question for Marky Mark: Where are you hiding your fearsome bat?
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And so the Phillies live another day. Well, two days. The series goes back to the Bronx for Game 6 on Wednesday night. My friend Judy is always happy when the Yanks are home. She lives in Florida now, but her dad was a ticket taker at the Stadium when she was a kid. 
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And Brendan, who comments frequently on this blog, met up with someone who vowed to help the Yanks put the Phillies away. Jesus, it turns out, is a Yankee fan.
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33 Comments

Hey Jane, no one said this was going to be easy. I think the decision to start A.J. was the correct one. He seems to alternate good starts with bad ones on a fairly routine basis. The same thing could have happened to him on four days rest as with three. At least this should end the thing with Molina once and for all. He doesn’t need a personal catcher, he needs a therapist. I’m still confident for game 6. This will be the second time they face Pedro and usually they fare better against a pitcher after they’ve seem him once already. Andy only needs to go five or six and then the bullpen and Mo can handle the rest. I don’t even know who the Phillies closer is right now and the Yanks’ bats are starting to heat up. I wouldn’t give on this Yankee team until the last strike of the last inning. They’ve got this! Go Yanks!!!

I really expected another come from behind victory last night – we were so close.

The headlines in our local newspaper today says “Things Could Get Utley” — pretty funny but unfortunately too true. He has hit every one of our starters and probably our relievers as well – okay, not Mariano. Damon is on fire and A-Rod continues his solid hitting but the rest of the bats need to wake up now.

We need to win Game 6 – although this was a very exciting series it needs to end now. GO YANKEES!!!

I couldn’t take any more. Again. After wrangling with Mrs. YH in the first inning (why did she have to stay downstairs, instead of being a good girl and going upstairs to watch, like she did in Games 3 and 4? I think I know now)…seeing that AJ had nada, seeing Lee settle down and mow ‘em down again (Jersey Bob’s rant: this is an AL PITCHER! Don’t they have ANY book on him?)…but then Son #2 freaks out when he hears that his best friend was in a car accident (almost got killed, car totalled, but he walked away…too complicated to explain)…then seeing the game in a different light, even as it got worse & worse…well, after Reggie Ruth-Utley’s (second? fifth? 52nd?) bash made it…what..7-1…? Something told me that since I get up for work at 4:30am every day, and I’ve been up ’til midnight or 1am for all these games, big day at work tomorrow, maaaybe it’s a good time to say goodnight, sweetheart. At least it was of comfort to know they made a game of it. And now I feel guilty…dammit, gave up way too soon…so now, however long it is, it’s the end of the line or nothing…no lead is safe, but maybe no deficit is really too large…still feel you GOTTA win Game 6, NO GAME SEVEN PLEASE. Sound familiar? It’s just exactly what I said about the ALCS…and now, even the Philly fan in my office says he can’t take all this stress, every single friggin’ night…well, welcome to OUR world, pal…

Ugh. I do agree that going with AJ on short rest was the way to go and I agree that having Molina catch him was the right thing. It had worked previously so there is no sense in messing with something that works. AJ just had one of his bad moments. And Jeter’s hitting into that double play?!?! What is this, 2008??? Anyway, I think it is better to win it in the Bronx. Hopefully Andy will have good stuff and Teixera will find his swing again. I am a bit rattled but still very confident in our team.

And Jane, thanks again for making me smile on a dreary morning! I always knew Jesus would be a Yankee fan but nice to see the proof.

I agree with the others – AJ was the right choice last night. He just didn’t show up with his best…or even his mediocre stuff. I’m always the optimist though – this way we can return to NY and christen the new stadium properly with #27! I need to get one of those “It’s good to be from the Bronx” caps…even though I’m not :) And I always new Jesus was a Yankees fan! Awesome post as always Jane!
Go Yankees!!!
~ Bran

Hi Jane,

I never thought I would say this, but I can’t wait for the baseball season to end because I am exhausted. It’s not the time it is the stress. Last night was actually the easiest game to watch since October 3rd. I figured there was no way they could come back and when they did, I was cheering and just having fun. Yes, Coke’s two bombs were the difference in the game.

You didn’t list the positives but this is what I see – the bull pen is in order to relieve Andy as early as the third or fourth. The thing that concerns me is that Andy said he was “gassed” the last game. I never heard the context in which he said it so I don’t know if it was pitching or running the bases. But if he is sharp early, the bullpen – minus Coke – (even Hughes pitched well) can take it the rest of the way. Also A-Rod is back to being A-Rod. Tex and Robby got hits too. They just fell short. The last positive – no more pizza!

Laurie

P.S. Sorry that my post from days ago kept submitting. It had something to do with the page I bookmarked. I don’t know exactly why but I changed the bookmarked page. Is there a home page to the site?

Everyone who has greeted me with a “Sorry your Yankees lost last night” has recieved the same reply from me “It’s okay. It’ll be that much sweeter winning at new Yankee Stadium”. I am remaining positive, but must admit I was a little down after last night’s game. Once again, Jane, you have come through in making me smile and laugh at our loss. Thanks!

One more thing I found funny was this article Keith Olbermann mentioned on his blog: http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local-beat/Stinky-Inky-Curses-the-Phils-68572792.html.

Made me laugh out loud and have even more hope and belief that our Yankees will prevail!

I’m getting my hopes up for a Yankee win. Just, wait until Game 7… If you can handle it? : ) I agree Utley is king kong right now. Amazing performances. And ya, how about considering a walk on this guy? He’s only killing ya everytime he steps up there. Duh.

Buz – http://buzblog.mlblogs.com/

I said the same thing about Burnett. His performance had nothing to do with rest or a lack thereof.
http://www.paullebowitz.com/
http://princeofny.blogspot.com/

One more quick post for Laurie. Everyone is fretting about Andy having short rest, and understandably…but I don’t know if you heard what I heard. What Andy said post-game was that he was REVVED UP and rarin’ to go prior to Game 3 — his stuff was sharp, he felt great…and then he was told to SHUT IT DOWN, and wait…and wait…and wait…for another !@#$^&%#$ rain delay…for over an hour…and it was after that when he was “warmed over” that he felt gassed. So I’m hanging my dirty mangy floppy hat on those comments, ’cause somehow I don’t think Pedro is toast yet (I know he’s not), and hope hope hope 4 da best…

Nope. No one said it would be easy, Len. And I agree that AJ wasn’t done in by the short rest thing. He said as much after the game. I felt so sorry for him when he said he let the whole city down – especially since we almost came back. I also agree that Molina doesn’t need to be his personal catcher. What good did it do? Yes, Jose is a good defender, but we could have used another bat in that lineup!

Utley has been phenomenal, Diane. I would just walk him from now on and avoid the headache. Very exciting the way Damon has gotten hot in this series. A-Rod has had some huge hits too. But with Melky out, I’d like to see more offense from Gardner. He took some pretty weak hacks last night.

Dave, you should turn your domestic life into a sitcom. There’s way too much going on there for a tiny old blog comment. LOL. Let’s not start worrying about Game 7 until we see what happens in Game 6. As you said, there’s too much stress!

That’s exactly what I was thinking about Jeter, cheshirecat. Is this 2008 again? HAHA. And to all those who said Joe shouldn’t have started AJ, do they really think Gaudin would have thrown a no-hitter? So you’re “rattled but confident.” That’s probably how I would describe myself right now.

I like your optimism, Bran. And I’ll try to emulate it during the countdown to Game 6. Don’t you love my friend Judy’s cap? I need to find out where she got it.

Laurie, I’m not sure why your comment from the other day kept submitting. Weird. The url/home page for this blog is http://janeheller.mlblogs.com. Does that help? I agree that there were positives from last night’s game – and that it would have been next to impossible to win three in Philly. But I do wish Tex would heat up. He’s had a couple of hits, but he’s batting, like, .150 or something dreadful. As great as he’s been with the glove, he needs to pick it up at the plate. I liked what I saw from Hughes. He seemed more comfortable – a very good sign. And yes, no more pizza! YAY!

DJ, I saw that screw up about the Macy’s ad that ran in the Philly papers. Talk about jumping the gun. Very embarrassing for all involved. Winning #27 will be sweeter at Yankee Stadium, but I can’t picture any celebrations because I don’t want to jinx anything. You know how superstitious I am!

If I were up to me, Buz, I’d forego the dramatics and win it in six games. But I understand that fans in general want to see it go seven. I’m just not sure my body could take the stress! And yes, I’m so not interested in pitching to Utley anymore. He’s killing us.

Yup, Paul. AJ was just bad, plain and simple. And honestly, does anyone really think Gaudin would have saved the day? He hadn’t pitched in a month.

Ah, so it was the rain delay that prompted Andy’s “gassed” comment, Dave? Makes sense now. The good news is that we won that game – HE won that game – even though he wasn’t at his best.

As long as he continues to hate the Cubs, Jesus can be a Yankees fan all he wants. LOL. Looking forward to a great game 6.
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/
http://mtrredstatebluestate.com

So am I, Jeff. Just looking forward to a different result than you are.

I don’t think Burnett’s struggles had anything to do with pitching on short rest, either. He’s always been inconsistent throughout his career, that’s why signing him was such a big risk in the first place. But don’t worry, Jane, you’ve got Jesus on your side!-Erinhttp://plunking-gomez.blogspot.com

HAHA, Erin. AJ is such a puzzle. He was brilliant in Game 2 and then couldn’t get anybody out last night. I love his stuff though and I’d still have signed him over the other free agents that were out there last winter. As for Jesus being a Yankee fan, hallelujah and amen!

Ah ha! Jesus is a Yankee fan! That may explain why there were ads for his birthday during a baseball game. I mean really, couldn’t Walmart have put some other ad on? It was surreal to hear “We need a little Christmas” during baseball!

Last night could have been amazing. Instead, it was a disappointment. BUT, the bats seem to be waking up and Phil didn’t exactly look like Huuuuuuuuughes, more just maybe Huughes.

I’m excited that the Yankees will win at home. It’s always better in pinstripes!
Melissa

having been raised by a pessimist (he would say realist) and an overboard optimist, i am extremely nervous (worried and troubled by the 3 day rest of pitchers, tex, cano, gardner, bullpen…) and excited (we’ll win at home). i, of course, wanted to win yesterday but wasn’t quite ready for baseball to be over. so i say we win with andy on the hill (at least to start), at home, on wednesday (when i can stay up late and go into work late on thursday). i think a walk off would be appropriate for the season, i’m just saying. i am still visually the winning jane heller blog to keep me sane.
barbara

I can’t believe that it is the sixth game!! It seems like the baseball season has gone on and on forever. Good luck tonight to bring it to a close.
http://catlovesthedodgers.mlblogs.com

Hi Jane,

Now that we are in a lull (I loved your tweet that said you were on short rest too) I wanted to let you know that my husband read your entire book on his trip to Boston. He liked it and being a writer himself, that is quite a compliment. He especially liked the beginning and the end. He’s told me little tidbits here and there, like your nicknames for the Boston players. For my birthday that year we went to the Kansas City series in September and he said you were there as well. Talk about A-Rod being hot. He also said that you and I are very similar. So there you go. I look forward to the off-season and reading it myself.

Laurie

Yeah, those Christmas ads have been making me crazy, Melissa. It’s November 3rd! Life goes fast enough as it is. Ayaya. What a comeback that would have been last night. OMG. But it was not to be. Hughes did look better. And the other piece of good news is that Mo didn’t have to pitch!

Raised by a pessimist AND an optimist, Barbara? You must feel like a split personality at times. LOL. I wasn’t ready for baseball to be over last night either, but I’ll never be ready so don’t listen to me. I wish they played all year! Keep visualizing the winning blog and hopefully it will appear when you wake up on Thursday morning.

Cat, hold your good luck thoughts! Game 6 is TOMORROW night. They’re back in the Bronx though, and will be going for it in front of the home crowd. Fingers and toes crossed.

I’m glad your husband liked the book, Laurie. Thanks for letting me know. What kind of writing does he do? Books also? And how funny that we were at the same series in KC. Too bad we didn’t know each other then or the four of us could have had dinner. If he said you and I are similar, I hope he meant it as a compliment. LOL!

I feel bad for AJ. I really do. He did so well last time out. Oh, well. Tomorrow is gonna be our night; there’s no doubt in my mind!

– Lisa
http://perennialpinstriper.mlblogs.com/

Lisa, I felt sorry for him when he said, “I let the whole city down.” I hope he wasn’t traumatized for life! Yes, tomorrow will be our night. Positive thinking!

As far as double-dipping goes, I do it all the time. Good rule of thumb: show all nearby dippers that you’re double dipping…this means more dip for you! ;)

Where’s the bat? I’m hoping it wasn’t affected with the “White Nose Syndrome.” If so, the bat will be hibernating permanently…not good. Save the bats!

http://stonebutch99.mlblogs.com

Ugh, I thought the Yankees had a chance until DJ hit into the DP in the 9th. But seriously, is there anywhere better to win a World Series than in the Bronx and in the new Stadium? Maybe this was meant to be. Let’s hope OUR guys are ready and Andy avoids a repeat of Game 6 of the 2001 World Series! Hopefully, tomorrow night, we’ll be very happy campers! Let’s go Yanks!

Scott
http://fotr.mlblogs.com

Jane,
Since i am a retired Pepsi Sales rep., I can make the joke. There is a reason that Coke is used for cleaning battery terminals and making nails disappear in mason jars, just think what it does on your empty stomaches?
Okay back to the comment.
Something i have found interesting in this World Series is the way both Bullpens have done their best to put drama into this series.
You know the Fox network loves it, because it keeps Tim McCarver from dozing off, and Craig Sager from chaning suits between the 7th inning stretch.
I will predict a very upbeat and explosive Yankee firts at bat courtesy of the “Philadelphia Inquirer” Macy’s ad for “World Series Championship” T-shirts, but advertised even before the series is over.
Sometime you got to love the mistakes that come back to haunt the overconfident.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

I double dip too, Austin. There’s no other way! As for the bat, I’m clueless about it except that it scares me to look at it.

It would be such a dream come true if they won it tomorrow night, Scott. Andy came back to the Yankees for just such a moment (well, and the money didn’t hurt), so it’s only fitting that he earns the win and gets soaked with champagne!

Is Coke really used for those purposes, Renegade? If so, I’ll never drink another one in my life. You’re right about the bullpens and drama, speaking of stomachaches. And weren’t those Macy’s ads hilarious? I can’t blame Phillies fans for wishing the message was true, but I have a feeling someone lost his/her job over that.

Ah, the performance of A.J. Burnett in Game 5 is something fans like me in Toronto remember fondly. I’ve always wondered – does he want in on Derek Jeter’s Gilette commercials with his constant shaving cream pies?

Jonah
http://jonah77.mlblogs.com/

Jane,

I am putting game 5 out of my mind. It was just an extra rest day for Andy so he can win it today. Yep, that’s what it was. I have faith in our boys for tonight, I would recommend that they win it tonight in a big way, my heart cannot take a close one again. I would like to see 30.
Question: Who is this Matt Stairs guy and why does it look like they interrupted his bowling league every time they roll him out to bat?!

Go Yankees! #27 Tonight
– Robin

I know Toronto fans saw plenty of inconsistency from AJ, Jonah. And maybe he should be in those shaving cream commercials. LOL!

I’m with you on the close games, Robin. They’re tough on the nervous system. So I’m all for a game where we have a nice comfortable lead, but I doubt that’s how it’ll go. I think we’ll be facing a very determined Phillies team, Matt Stairs and all!

This is Barbara’s father – the pessimist (realist) half of her upbringing, my late wife having been the optimistic. I am nervous about our pitchers being on 3 days rest and just hope the bats of Texeira and Cano wake up and that the others remain hot. I am expecting a game 7 and the only thing that gets me, and Barbara, through the games is “watching” together over the phone. I have a large HD screen and she often is listening on the radio which is many seconds ahead of the telecast so I can often tell by her voice what has happened before I see it. I hope you can work your magic and save us all from game 7 and more gray hair.
Harold, from Florida

This is Barbara’s father – the pessimist (realist) half of her upbringing, my late wife having been the optimistic. I am nervous about our pitchers being on 3 days rest and just hope the bats of Texeira and Cano wake up and that the others remain hot. I am expecting a game 7 and the only thing that gets me, and Barbara, through the games is “watching” together over the phone. I have a large HD screen and she often is listening on the radio which is many seconds ahead of the telecast so I can often tell by her voice what has happened before I see it. I hope you can work your magic and save us all from game 7 and more gray hair.
Harold, from Florida

Hi, Harold. I know you’re nervous about tonight, but hopefully you and Barbara watching it together by phone will calm you both! I wish I did have some magic to keep us from getting gray hair, but all I can offer is that I’ll be rooting hard from here in California. GO YANKS!

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